I'm taking a break and writing a short story for a themed anthology. Here's a snippet from that.
The sound of breaking glass alerted Losa to the intruder. In his living area, he raised his head and listened. The sounds could only mean what he had feared. The killing thing had come for him.
Moving quietly, Losa entered his lab and positioned himself between two crystal spheres balanced each on a metal rod at eye-level. He had little hope that the crystals would shield his presence for long. He must assume that some of the fifteen slain wizards had tried at least as much. And still they had been brutally butchered in their own dwellings.
Losa heard the ticking first. The killing thing appeared in the lab's doorway. A monstrous wonder of levers and pulleys and metal joints, it paused on the threshold, featureless head swinging back and forth. Losa let out his breath, long and silent. At last, he knew which of the Brethren had been methodically eliminating competition. Only one wizard had the aptitude and knowledge to build such an artifice.
Not that knowing his enemy would save him.